Rant & Rave: Makeup Reviews

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Makeup Reviews

Rave: They can be extremely useful in navigating a world with a relentless stream of new products and a endless catalog of existing products. They can cut through the hype/buzz about a product or help set expectations so that the purchase is more in line with our preferences. Rant: I find reviews that are solely critiquing based on how the color works on their skin frustrating, since there are things like wear, application, coverage, etc. that can be talked about that actually go to the heart of whether it’s a good or bad product (because the review is going to be read by people with different coloring and needs!).

— Christine

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Raves, as you say.
Rant: the number I see which amount to, I like this because I’m a sucker for (brand) annoy me. Good for you… is it a good product?

Rave: They can give a glimpse of what has just been released or is on the horizon. Since I like keeping my look fresh and modern, I find those reviews that focus on new products and collections to be quite helpful. I also really appreciate it when a reviewer’s pictures are taken with skill, in good lighting conditions, and showcase the actual products as well as swatches. And, bonus points when there are side-by-side comparison swatches to previously released products. I love those.

Rant: As for the actual reviews, I always take them with a grain of salt because reviews are highly subjective and are influenced by the reviewer’s esthetics, expectations, application skills, skin condition, coloring, age, lifestyle, etc. In that sense, they are seriously unreliable. Sometimes I’ve been in complete agreement with a review; other times I’ve been in total disagreement. Different strokes for different folks! LOL

– Reviews help me understand better how a product performs beyond the brand claims. Usually I don’t take reviews ad-literam, I know how to interpret a review based on the reviewer (e.g. if a dewy skin lover states a product is beautifully dewy, I I know it’s too dewy for my liking; but if she states a product is a little too matte, but not bad, I know I might prefer it better).
– Reviews are a source of heterogeneous information; I understand better a product when people with different tastes, skins, routines give feedback on it.

– Reviews are mostly focused on new releases. I would just love more reviews for products people tried for years, months, in various situations and combinations; not just focusing on new hyped items.
– Reviews are biased, although not necessarily on purpose to mislead. People are highly biased by their previous experience with the brand, they tend to be harsher on products from some brands, they tend to avoid to critique some brands. And it’s not even due to the brand itself, it’s the audience; for example, nowadays, you are not “allowed” to like a Kat Von D product… but dear you critique something about Fenty Beauty. And all these PR packages and press trips only do worse… and I understand… it’s hard to critique a product after you have been on an amazing trip with that brand; for example last year I just ignored all NARS reviews.

I agree with your rant about how people don’t review old products, but your statement about Fenty is very odd considering what just happened with Geisha Chic. Nobody out here is immune to criticism in 2019.

I wasn’t aware about the Geisha Chic deal, I had to google re-search it right now, thanks for pointing this out.
No one is indeed immune, but some mistakes are more easily forgotten than others; my point is that there are brands (almost) everybody loves to love and everybody loves to hate, like there are brands that are just… `meah`.

Hi Christine

Your blog is the only one I have come to completely trust because it is clearly obvious that you love makeup and your reviews are a fair balance of critique and praise it must have been disappointing to have to say that the Tom Ford gelly lipsticks merited an F

I think the main thing for me is a significant number reviewers don’t seem to understand the difference between facts and their own opinions.
“This is soooooooo pretty!” and “Ergh, I hate this!” are not actually helpful to anyone else unless you actually tell us why. This blush pan is only 2.5g/0.9oz is helpful info to have, I love this shade of shimmery pink is not. I mean, you like what you like but for someone who offers reviews in a professional capacity (eg, solicits/accepts samples, earns ad revenue) they really need to establish what their audience wants to see, instead of just blathering on about themselves and what they like.

There will always be a huge element of opinion in it, you’re never going to get away from that and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with someone saying, “I don’t like this, the texture is weird and gloopy and I’m not a fan…” but if they can put their own ego aside for a hot minute and say “I personally don’t love this shade, it doesn’t work with the undertones in my skin but people who XYZ might like it.” then I have a lot more time for slogging through it.

Providing close up swatches in good light is also appreciated! Snapping something quickly at night time on your iPhone just to pad out content, not so much.

Also, I don’t need to see you driving your f***ing Rolls Royce to a juice bar, hugging the cashier and then watch you eat mini donuts, I just don’t. I know you’re trying to “connect” with your audience but really, you just look like a super entitled @$$hole. 😐

I totally agree with your first point. If someones job is to review products, they should try a product in multiple ways, try to look from different perspectives (even if they are not their own), try be more informed on formulas and ingredients and how they affect product performance. I love how jenluvsreviews on YouTube started incorporating ingredient analysis on her reviews, the wipe test, the comparison between similar products/palettes, etc.

I also understand some people are just influencers (famous people to different degrees that just give their personal opinion, mostly in an entertaining way), not reviewers. But those who claim to be reviewers at least should try to be more professional and objective.

I have done this at reviews/comments, but I have NEVER left this comment on this website: LMAO at your last paragraph. As someone who despises the entire concept of influencers (I realize I can’t direct or choreograph the world, but I hope brands recognize that some of us reverse their decision to buy after a glut of influencer-posts), my other comment would be I could not possibly agree more.

Rave: your reviews. You tell the truth.
Rant: people who like everything, the fact that they don’t give products to enough dark-skinned people to review, and these YouTube videos with people doing the most with the least.

Rave: Blogs like this one have been instrumental in opening up my world into different brands of makeup and how to apply it properly. I have leanrt so much over the past five years and it has helped me to determine what works and doesn’t on me.
Honest reviews of new products really help to navigate this minefield of the great, the good and the average.
Rant: My only rant is about bloggers who are sponsored by brands and don’t retain their integrity by publishing favourable comments when a product isn’t really good at all.

Rave: your reviews
Rant: when I’m reading reviews on sites like Sephora or Ulta and the reviewer never mentions the shade that was purchased. So many people do this and it makes me want to scream!

Lol same!!! I always look for the shade too and you have to scroll through 20 reviews sometimes to see someone mention the name!

Level-headed reviews are definitely useful. It’s the more extreme reviews (“omg best/worst thing ever!!”) that make me question the intentions of the reviewer, especially when the last ten things they reviewed were the best/worst thing ever too. Also super nondescript reviews that are basically just hauls are no help either

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